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The Suffocating Truth review at Asylum, London – ‘crassly self-indulgent’

The Suffocating Truth at Asylum, London
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In 2013, Canadian dancer Lukas McFarlane won Sky TV’s talent show Got to Dance. Then aged 20, he wowed the judges with splashy routines full of powerful leaps set to thumping power ballads, while his habit of wearing a single sock gave rise to his signature #onesock brand.

Performing with his company Untitled, McFarlane is now sock-free, but he hasn’t lost his taste for musical slush. His latest work, The Suffocating Truth, is a 90-minute piece all about his own sexual struggles, performed to a seemingly endless series of reverb-heavy, totes emosh songs with earnest high-pitched vocals and anthemic ambitions.

While McFarlane demonstrates impressive gymnastic ability, his talent as a dance-storyteller is less apparent. To signify that he’s lonely and troubled, McFarlane frowns on a wooden chair and does a bit of contortion, before a girl in a floral dress appears and they perform a romantic duet. Cue some simulated sex, during which she wears her bra and pants to be thrust around spread-eagled against a wall.

All is not well, however, for a demonic long-legged sex-witch enters the fray, strutting about and grinning in nought but a black corset and feathery ruff. She’s a predatory creature, luring the secret male object of McFarlane’s affections into another bout of shagging, complete with realistic crotch furtling.

What follows involves much huffing and puffing, floor-writhing and fervent grimacing, interspersed with muscular yet vapid ensemble routines. The message of sexual self-acceptance is laudable, but McFarlane’s choreographic vision is crassly self-indulgent.

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Contemporary dance meets Hollyoaks in a crude work about sexual identity